Clean Technology

Alto Solution : producing clean and mainly affordable water and energy at utility scale

Written by Mehdi Berrada

Tell us a few words about the founders and how the idea came

Mehdi Berrada, CEO, founded ALTO Solution in 2012. Keen entrepreneur, engineer with significant experiences at major desalination EPCs, passionate about technological development and frugality, Mehdi is specializing in innovation management.

Mauro Pedretti, CTO, joined the board in 2014. Member of the Swiss Academy for Sciences, laureate of the European Grand Prix for Innovation (2006), PhD and outstanding engineer, Mauro invented the Tensairity® technology, filed numerous international patents and was solicited by the greatest contemporary architects and some of the world’s leading technology companies for its unique expertise.

Mehdi and Mauro share a strong will to contribute to shaping a sustainable world, based on clean and efficient technologies to access water and energy in the service of humanity and its development.

Your products and services

We are developing two technologies to build sustainable infrastructures to access water and energy.

Our patented and patent pending technologies bring frugality into new areas: utility and infrastructure:

  1. PaT is a very efficient and very competitive parabolic trough that can be used for power generation (CSP) or process heat (CST). Our troughs are 60% cheaper than current technologies while improving overall durability and performance by producing more energy annually. We are making this breakthrough by using flat plate mirrors that we cold-bend mechanically and by building the bearing frame entirely with concrete. PaT reduces the CAPEX of CSP plants by 15%, enabling savings of 1 M€ per installed megawatt: a 50-MW CSP plant would cost 300 M€ using PaT instead of 350 M€ currently.
  2. HiP is a monoboloc structure for housing reverse osmosis (RO) membranes in desalination plants. Our solution is 65% cheaper than current RO racks using GRP pressure vessels, while improving safety users, as concrete cannot explode contrary to GRP. HiP reduces maintenance operations by 70% and half cuts the footprint. HiP reduces the CAPEX of desalination plants by 12%: a 75’000 m3/day SWRO plant would cost 71 M€ using PaT instead of 80 M€ currently.

Your success factors

We validated the main technological breakthroughs on which our innovations rely with several prototypes.

Both our technologies are on fast growing markets that will constitute a large share of tomorrow infrastructures.

HiP and PaT significantly reduce CAPEX of clean infrastructures while improving performance, 2 of the main challenges of water and power producers.

More and more countries are investing in clean infrastructures, either to lower gas emissions or to increase energy/water independence.

HiP and PaT enable producing clean and mainly affordable water and energy for the benefit of end users.

Our team is perfectly fitted for this technology development. In addition to our 2 co-founders, we have 2 high profiles advisors with a savvy expertise in our fields: our IP & partnership advisor based in San Diego, Samir Elamrani, is Partner at WSGR a global leading law firm for innovation; our Infrastructures & partnership advisor base in Istanbul, Samir Karoum, is Vice-President Africa & ME at ALSTOM infrastructures, after being 11 years in the energy sector at AREVA and ALSTOM.

Your factors differentiating and disruptive compared to the existing

Manufactured in concrete, our two technologies are robust, durable, reliable, simple to manufacture and operate, more efficient and more cost competitive than existing technologies. They bring frugality to sustainable water and energy infrastructure.

HiP and PaT enable most of the components to be manufactured directly on site by standard construction companies already present all over the world; simplifying the value chains and lowering the technological barriers.

HiP and PaT enable the generalization of clean infrastructure to access water and energy and their implementation in locations where they could not be considered because of the complexity and high cost of existing technologies.

Your business model (how do you make money?)

We are licensing HiP and PaT technologies to major power and water producers.

Licensing to major players is the best way to rapidly expand sustainable infrastructures globally. HiP and PaT bring power and water producers a cost competitive solution over conventional sources and other alternative solutions to access water and energy.

Licensing is a profitable and sustainable business model for ALTO Solution that relies mainly on 3 revenue streams: upfront payment, per-site fee and royalties on performance.

A few words about your competitors

Alternative sources such as solar or desalination are increasingly favored by states around the world for a variety of reasons: resource scarcity, independence, emission reductions, and so on. Thus, their market shares increase considerably compared to conventional sources.

Besides, with regard to sustainable technologies, our direct competitors are relatively few in our specific markets and HiP and PaT have certain competitive advantages in terms of cost and performance:

  • HiP mainly substitutes GRP pressure vessels, thus making manufacturers our main direct competitors: BEL, Codeline, ROPV, Protec Arisawa are the main world leaders.
  • PaT substitutes the current parabolic troughs such as: ST8 (Abengoa), Skytrough (Skyfuel), Ultimate trough (Flabeg).

Your website 

www.alto-solution.com 

About the author

Mehdi Berrada

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